I was late getting to a television, so I missed the best part of the Georgia Bulldogs’ basketball game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Playing at home for the first time in more than two weeks, the Red and Black built up a 30-21 halftime lead following an opening 20 minutes in which the Fox Hounds drained more than 40 per cent of their field goal attempts (11 of 26) and made two-thirds of their free throws (6 of 9).
The Bulldogs pulled down 14 defensive rebounds in the first half, turned takeaways into points, and outscored the visiting Bearcats in the paint (16-6), on the fast break (4-0), and off the bench (9-0).
That early advantage came crashing down in the second half . . . or, more precisely, came clanging down, as Cincinnati played tight defensively and Georgia responded by lofting ill-advised long-distance shots only generally in the vicinity of the basket. A 34-23 Bulldog lead just inside the 18-minute mark of the second half became a 39-38 Bearcat advantage with a little under eleven minutes remaining in the contest. A trio of Dustin Ware free throws turned a 40-38 Cincinnati edge into a 41-40 Georgia lead with fewer than seven minutes remaining, but the visitors from the Big East went back out in front for good using shots from beyond the arc to pad their advantage and patience while the Athenians imploded to preserve the victory.
The combination of poor clock management and ice-cold shooting doomed the Hoop Dogs in the closing minutes as the Red and Black went down to a 57-51 defeat in a game they previously had controlled. After the break, Georgia was outscored, 36-21, while shooting a tepid 28.6 per cent from the field (6 of 21), sinking a weak 14.3 per cent from three-point range (1 of 7), and conceding eight points on as many turnovers. The Athenians’ third straight loss dropped them to 4-4 for the fall, with a home date against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets upcoming next Wednesday. We knew this team would go through growing pains, but, at the moment, the Red and Black have an unfavorable ratio of agony to advancement.
As I noted last month, we are planning a Dawg Sports group outing to the Fox Hounds’ December 23 home game against Furman. Some folks who weren’t able to make this year’s Goat Roast will be home for Christmas, so we’re taking the opportunity to purchase block seating for a group to go to the game. We’ll continue discussing this as the game approaches, but please take this opportunity to get in on the fun. If you’re interested in attending, leave a comment to that effect below, and someone from the masthead will be contacting you at the e-mail address provided on your profile.